June 5, 2009

I Wanna Be Sedated

Last December, I got pain injections in the facets of my cervical spine and adjacent trigger points, ultimately so that I would quit complaining so obnoxiously to God and all his minions. This pain in the neck comes courtesy of the guy with a revoked driver's license who ran a red light in his bigass truck and t-boned me, which sent me spiraling through the intersection. (Hey, thanks, buddy! This barrel of fun is the gift that keeps on giving.) So here for your reading pleasure is my first experience with facet injections.

The nurse invites me into the belly of the surgical denizen, where she says I can keep the skivs and socks, but everything else must go. Nurse then draws the curtain so I can undress amid gurneys, beeping gadgetry, and shadowy, probably naked figures from the other side of the curtains.

Now in my world, skivs are synonymous with thongs, and to be honest, these cheeks haven’t seen full coverage since the ’80s. Back then butt floss was all the rage, and on my sleek behind, they looked sexy. These days? Not so much. I still wear thongs for one reason: wearing them is akin to wearing nothing at all. On the comfort scale, "nothing at all" is right up there with warm velvety throws and cuddly plush toys — and, well, morphine. The fact that my ass has surpassed the half-century mark is inconsequential. People, comfort rules my underworld.

So I slide my arms into wrinkly cotton hospital couture, peek-a-boo to the back, and fumble for the tie thingies so that my limited modesty will have at least that. But there's only one tie thingy so modesty be damned! Pinching the flaps closed with one hand and balancing on the other, I climb awkwardly atop the gurney, into the chaise lounge position. All I need now is piña colada tanning lotion and a potent cocktail.

Nurse returns with a swish of the curtain. “You want to be sedated?”

Oh yeah! Just what I had in mind! But she looks unsure. "Is this a trick question? I thought I was supposed to be sedated.”

Nurse: “It’s up to you.”

“Me? We’re talking big needles in the spine here. How much will I feel it?”

From the other side of the curtain, a woman shouts, “You will definitely feel it!”

I cringe at Nurse. “Sedation, please. Make it a double.”

Ten minutes later, I am retrofitted with an IV, scribbled on with a purple marker (X marks the spots, Indy!), and adorned with paper booties and a paper shower cap. I’m then wheeled into the O.R. where my twelve-year-old doctor and a small crowd prepare to poke and prod me into a pain-free life.

Nurse has me scoot from my gurney to the adjacent operating table, doing my best impression of a drunk crab, then roll onto my stomach. My hospital gown flops open and my entire backside from the neck down is flashing like a neon sign. It hits me that I am overdressed for this affair — in black silk socks and a lacy yellow thong — while my audience is in scrubs and party masks. I am instructed to hang my chest over a folded pillow, forehead pressed into the table, posterior fanned into the full-moon position under glaring overhead lights — the kind you never want to see your ass in because they reveal every single imperfection you have — and some you didn't know you had. This moment, like no other in history, will commemorate all fifty-three years behind me.

I sense that all eyes are aghast at my personal business, parading around in slutty paraphernalia — at my age — and I wait for the giggles to erupt. But the only giggles are mine. “Just injecting a little humor into the air,” I bleat, wondering suddenly if they thought I'd farted.

Only the anesthetist speaks. “I’m going to sedate you now.”

I gasp, “Please hurry.”

An hour later, I wake in the recovery room. I don’t even remember that I have an ass. My daughter pulls her car up to the side door of the building as if she’s picking up a small appliance from Sears, and I wobble out there and slide into the front seat. I do not remember the ride home.

I underwent that procedure three times, and in two weeks I'll take the next step in treatment with facet denervation (rhizolysis) that will block the pain more permanently. But you can pretty much count on me not running out to buy traditional briefs from Wally World, just in case I have a Jack Nicholson moment. There’s just no substitute for a comfy thong. Even at my age.


GingerJar said...

Hope you are feeling better. Yup...just gotta love those hospital gowns. As a nurse I always opt for the pre-sedation when-ever possible. Let me know if the shots and stuff work. My hubby would probably benefit from that...he too was T-boned...on the passenger side by an 18 wheeler. He's lucky to be alive...but he still has horrible neck pain. Don't know if they do that procedure in this area though...as there is only one neurologist that I know of in the Valley...and he doesn't come to my hospital.

Again...hope you are feeling better....at least you don't have an embarrasing tattoo....on the hinder parts...I do. LOL.

Michel said...

OMG I totally hate injections or even the word injection! I hope you feel better!!!

Bagman and Butler said...

You have a gift for words and had me laughing throughout. This was a blog that deserved to be read slowly, word for word...each one perfectly place...with the timing of a good stand up comedian! Climbing the gurney in the reverse paper suit is a memory many of us cherish. BAGMAN, of course, will be thinking of your ass for the rest of the day.

Swearing Mother said...

Is there such a thing as a comfy thong?

Jan said...

Swearing Mother beat me to MY comment. Comfy thong?

Hit 40 said...

I give myself a shot everyday! Really. You just get used to it.

Back trouble is the worst! I hear nothing but horror stories from coworkers with bad backs. I hope the treatment is helping.

Unknown said...

Never had surgery, but each new blog I read in which the blogger recounts their episode, I thank my luck stars.

I'm always afraid I'll come out of anesthesia blubbering and saying something like "I love to be naked and covered in peanut butter," or some such.

Unknown said...

"Just injecting a little humor into the air"... bwahahahahahah!!!

A priceless line!!

creative kerfuffle said...

ok, i almost didn't read the whole post because injections freak me out, especially big long needled ones in backs, knees, shoulders etc. but, this was priceless! it you really would have farted? yeah THAT would have been the icing on the cake.
sedation rules though. aside from having 2 kids (and 2 c-sections) i've only been in the hospital to have my gallbladder removed. i remember nothing after being wheeled in there. kinda weird though--to just lose that period of time.

blognut said...

I'm totally with you on the thongs! It's all about my comfort, and that's all there is to it.

Mary Ellen said...

I have to say that this is the most fun I've ever had listening to people's health care experiences. This was just brilliant. It might just help me get through my upcoming colonoscopy.

Stephanie said...

I am scheduled to see a Doc about a very similar procedure and was reading your post while holding my breath!! Glad to hear it went well...must have if your going back! Will promptly go out and buy some undies to cover my cheeks. I'm just not as brave as you :)

MamabearMills said...

oh man! try having them without sedation! it sux! funny story!

blissfully caffeinated said...

A word of advice, anytime someone asks if you want to be sedated, the answer is always "Yes." I don't care if you're not even at a doctor's office. Whatever. If someone offers me sedation I take it with no questions asked.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

First of all "comfy thongs" is an oxymoron. Secondly, I'm all about sedation. I miss my old dentist. He gave me gas (the good kind) twice a year for my cleanings. I nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize, but Stephen Hawking edged him out. I loved your line about the Sears appliance - that was truly inspired. Hope you feel better soon. Back pain can be such a pain in the ass...

Justine said...

Can you imagine having something like this done with NO sedation? What moron would opt for that? And next time? I say go for a racy red thong!

Justine :o )

Rebel Mother said...

Always nice to have a bit of sedation!

PS thongs? I love thongs...I have read three blogs today where nobody wears thongs!

Am I the only one left???

Thinking of you with those nasty injections.
Love RMx

nikkicrumpet said...

I love your stories...they just grab you and won't let you go...I'm always sorry when they're over. Hey...I have an idea...next time you have a treatment...get someone to paint a smiley face on your behind...that will give em something to talk about...and then the dimples will make sense! (not that you have dimples on your butt or anything...not like I'd know hehe)

Tootsie said...

OMG I nearly fell off my chair when you were laying face down ...your description of such a serious thing...sure is showing a healthy sense of humor! feel better girlie...and enjoy those slutty undies! lol

Anonymous said...

If you were a small Sears appliance what kind of appliance would you choose to be? Hee Hee Hee

The Blue Ridge Gal

♥ Braja said...

Ah, c'mon...they LIVE for moments like this...I bet you're the talk of their coffee breaks for a month.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"I don’t even remember that I have an ass."

Hahahahaha! Gotta love that line.

Wendy said...

Too funny. I love the woman yelling from the other side of the curtain.

Okay, now I'm going to say something that sounds completely like I'm wacky, but I feel compelled to do it. I know this lady who has a bad neck problem and she wears one of those high-end magnet necklaces and she said it makes a HUGE, HUGE difference for her. I don't know whether you believe that stuff or not, but she is totally convinced so I'm passing it on for what it's worth. I can't remember the company but it's Japanese and sounds like Nikan or something like that.

Okay, done being weird now. Well, no. That's unlikely. :)

Fragrant Liar said...

GingerJar: No tattoos on the hinder parts or anywhere else. The shots worked, but only temporarily. Because I did so well with them, but still have the pain, I'm a good candidate for the denervation procedure, which may not be permanent, but will last a lot longer.

Michel: Yeah, injection is not my favorite word either. I don't look at anything sharp going into me. It's just my policy.

Butler and Bagman: I'm so glad you liked it. Please thank Bagman for the good wishes, will you?

Swearing Mother and Jan: Abso-frickin'-lutely!

Hit 40: Whoa, self-inflicted shots. I guess I could if I had to, but since I don't have to (yet), I don't want to even think about it.

Andrew Scott Turner: Well, think of the joy you'd give to the nurses. Oh, the stories they must take home with them.

Gaston Studio: Your sense of humor is disgusting. A woman after my own heart!

creative kerfuffle: I know! I almost wish I HAD farted. What a story that would make. I'd be even prouder than I am now. Oh, and when you have kids, sedation is a priority.

blognut: Right? People have no idea about the fabulosity of a comfy thong.

Mary Ellen: Ooooooo, I have a colonoscopy story too! It's a gas, in fact.

ModernMom: I'm not as brave as you think I am either. More like oblivious.

MamabearMills: Injections without sedation is a crime.

blissfully caffeinated: Yes. Yes! and YES!

DebraLSchubert: Yes, oxymoronic, but true.

Justine: Racy red? Me likey!

Rebel Mother: What's wrong with people? Thongs rule!

nikkicrumpet: Aw, you are sweet to say so. I'm thinking a smiley face on each cheek, perhaps drawn in lipstick, astride a racy red thong.

Tootsie: Nothing to do with slutty undies but enjoy them!

The Blue Ridge Gal: Hmm, probably I'd be a two-slot toaster.

♥ Braja: It's kinda like standup, but flat out.

Midlife Jobhunter: Well, at the time, it was a good thing I didn't remember. I'd have been too em-bare-assed. (You knew I had to go there...)

Wendy: Well,I don't know about the magnets, but I'm open to trying different things. As long as they're cheap or covered by insurance. Magnets could be worth a try if the denervation doesn't work as well as we all hope.

Malicious Intent said...

My husband and I have this whole family hobby called cervical spinal stenosis. He has had two surgeries in two years, mine is this October. Tried to get a bulk discount with the neurosurgeon, but noooooo. Poor sport he is.
Anyhoodle, hubby has had those injections two or three times. Never worked, but he was always so cute coming out "drunk" to me. I always tipped the nurse for delivering to me a "sure thing" for the night.

Anonymous said...

I assumed you were able to sue the bastard that hit you. I can only add by comparison the day I had my hemorrhoids removed. I was ass over eyeballs with an onlooking party of 5. I said "I'll never be embarrassed again after this"

They laughed, and then the relaxing drug was administered and I started itching like crazy. I mentioned my reaction: I then had an onlooking party of 4 scratching my back while the surgeon "got busy".

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I don't know how you do it. I can't find a pair that doesn't drive me crazy. I stick with the full bottom and deal with the resulting wedgie. Grrr.

Hope this works for you. The whole procedure sounds very interesting. In the meantime, enjoy the sedation.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking you aren't repulsive and compared to the stuff these people are forced to see everyday when they do these procedures...it was a welcome sight. My time in the public gym (and shower) have made me feel much better about myself when comparing my appearance to get "general population" and not to models and twenty year olds.

drollgirl said...

ohmyLORD, i don't even know where to start with this! please forgive, but here comes a long comment:

1) i hope these horrid injections work! horror factor eleven!
2) a fuckwit t-boned MY car a few months back, and now he is suing me for soft tissue damage. i want to take a machete to him.
3) g-strings comfortable?!?!? how is that POSSIBLE!>?!?! maybe i should try them again? then again, my ass has certainly seen better days, and probably looks best with as much fabric as possible on it!
4) doctors and hospitals. ack! again with horror factor eleven! you are a strong woman in that you can handle this scene, and i hope they are making you all better.

and, finally, i hope you have a great weekend!

p.s. hooray for vagina. ha.

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeouch mama!

i would have farted and then said? "i just farted."

hooray for the nice wrappings. i way go for it.

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

i meant "i SAY go for it."


Farmers Wifey said...

omg I am laughing with you not at you! You poor thing, I can totally relate to injections. When I was younger I had encephalitis and had to have a lumber puncture. Just imagine it, can't even talk about it. Wonder was my bum in the air too!!

Jocelyn said...

I have dreamt of a world where I forget I have an ass.

Sedation it is. I'm hitting the alleys of my fair burg tonight, trolling for Valium and Percoset and Lortab, all to make a beautiful cocktail.

You know, btw, that I get a huge kick out of how you portray yourself in the world. But I now have a hankering to read someone else's telling of an encounter with you...like the doctors in the lounge, after your gown fell open, comparing notes on your thong.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Girl that is a hysterical story. Except for the injection part. Jesus-tap-dancin-Christ that sounds horrid!! I too would be sedated and remind them that I am a child of the 70's and will be needing the B~I~G dose, ya know?
Those "gowns"? Big old handiwipes if you ask me. I intentionally try to forget that I have an ass......midlife is great for the buttocks, no?
Wow, I really hope you feel better and this injection really helps you after all of that. And yes, I agree.......the doctor's all look so young now. Scary, lol.

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Wunderwoman said...

Oh my goodness, I hope after all that the injections worked. Thank you for these stories, I am in nursing school and hope all my patients are like you (thongs and all)!

Pseudo said...

I always go for sedation. always. Hope the injections are working and no more pain for you.

geewits said...

Painful sounding things are why I drink beer. Okay, reason #462. I have to get a beer now. Good luck with your nerve endings!

Joanna Jenkins said...

You can be sedated for those things???? WTF? Why didn't anyone tell me that! I seriously did not know that was even an option! Dang!

You are a real trooper, a car accident AND and injections and you're sense of humor is obviously still absolutely perfect. I don't know how you found my blog today but I'm so glad you did! Thanks for stopping by and THANK YOU for a great laugh! I will definitely be a regular follower of yours! More please.

T said...

OMG.....your post cracked me up!

I'm so glad you stopped by my site - otherwise I wouldn't have ever found your funny ass!

I hope you will come by often - I know I'll be back here many, many times!

Debbie said...

The very idea of your lacy yellow thong and you laughing has set me off laughing. I'm glad you are going to get some more permanent relief.

Fragrant Liar said...

Malicious Intent: Sorry to hear about the spinal stenosis. Hope the surgeries go well for you. If I'd had a partner when I got home from my procedure, I'd have been a "sure thing" too!

dana: Sued. Not settled yet. OMFG, I can't imagine the horror of a hemorrhoidectomy. Or maybe I can! Have you written about this? You should!

Smart Mouth Broad: I'm tellin' ya. You don't know it's there! That's comfort! Probably sizing is the key.

morethananelectrician: You are so sweet to say I'm not respulsive. ;-) But you're right. It's all perspective.

drollgirl: Your fuckwit is crazy! And, Vaginas 'R' Us!

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! I just FEARED it would happen. :-)

Farmers Wife: OMG, a lumbar puncture? I bow to your courage.

Jocelyn: Compare notes with someone else's telling of my events? That WOULD be interesting. If only we could find someone who would admit to witnessing.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... If only those "big old handiwipes" actually worked. They don't!

Wunderwoman: I like to set the bar high.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher: Worked for awhile. No more.

geewits: Thanks! And have one on me.

Joanna Jenkins: You sure you're ready? :-)

T : Funny ass. Yes, that's something I own. I rent it out too.

Debbie: Thanks!

Unknown said...

You certainly do have a gift for writing! :)

I sadly comment that I have never had an affinity for the ole thong. Oh I've worn them when there was a need, but usually the Vicky's Secret bikini UW will suffice for me. Kudos to you for still wearing your comfy thong!

And as far as anything medical, I avoid it like the plague as much as possible, altho I'm sure if someone t-boned me it would then be unavoidable... when available, I would always, always opt for sedation. Even at the dentist sometimes. ;-)

Lola said...

Wow! I give you credit for scheduling to go under the needle again. My back issues are lower back and I've had 2 sets of epidurals and 3 sets of facet injections. Don't you love those chaise loungers? First time I went I asked if it was included with the procedure. I had no sedation for the epidurals, allegedly pain medicine was injected before the cortisone, but I beg to differ. For the facet injections, the first 2 the sedation was more like twilight and I was awake and could hear everything and like a floppy doll attempted to scoot back onto the gurney to go back to the chaise loungers. The third time, I was knocked completely out and woke up in the chaise lounger. (It was on the opposite side of the room, so considering the injection site bandaids, and the pain after, I'm pretty sure they actually did the injections.) All my sets of injections caused pain elsewhere in my back, so unfortunately pain injections aren't for me. I stopped after the 3rd set of facet injections.

Best of luck on your next procedure.

Stopping by as part of the June Comment Challenge.


L'Adelaide said...

this was hysterical and as a woman who has been there more times that even I remember, it takes one to know one....ain't it fun?? and now how are you? better worse same? seems I will be going down this road again...btw, eventually my cervical got itself fused, don't go there!

Anonymous said...